my book journey: 1999 – present day

Hello and welcome fellow bookworms!

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember a time where I didn’t read…I swear my parents must have read to me in the womb.

One of my parents’ favourite stories to tell about me as a child was the time when one of my great-aunts was babysitting me while both my parents were working. I was less than two years old at the time and my Mam was working on the checkouts in our local supermarket, so my great-aunt took me in there shopping.

Even back then, I was bought a book while we were shopping and my response to this was to take it to my Mam, who was serving customers on the checkout, and ask her to read it to me!

Fast forward (quite) a few years and I was that kid in Primary School who loved the lessons where we had to go around the class and read out from a book (oddly, this was my worst nightmare when I reached Secondary School). I remember my “favourite” pieces of homework from Primary School either being to read or to carry out “reading comprehension” tasks.

Time-skip again to Secondary School and although I now dreaded the lessons where we went around the class and each read aloud a section from the book, I used to love the lessons where we had a supply teacher and our only work was to sit and read (a book of our choice!) in silence!

Now once I finished Secondary, I had several months before I started college, and you can guess how I spent those months! When I finally started college, one of my favourite parts of the day used to be the bus ride either to college or back home: optimal reading time!

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I now work full time, which obviously leaves less time for reading, however, I still make the most of my travel time, by reading on the bus, and, of course, I have time in the evenings.

I can’t say my taste in books has changed all that much since I was younger; I still enjoy mystery, fantasy and adventure books. I also used to enjoy reading the Horrible Histories books – even back then I was fascinated by the Tudors!

What’s your book journey? Has your taste in books changed as you’ve aged?

Keep reading!

Elanor 🙂

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extracts from my tbr pile 2.0

Good day readers!

For anyone who is a follower of my blog, or has read any of my posts before, you might recognise this title; I wrote a similar post back in July last year but I’m back with an updated version!

My current tbr shelf on Goodreads consists of 22 books. While this may seem like a large number to some, I’ve had over double this amount on my tbr shelf before, so this is quite an achievement for me!

(Let’s just pretend I don’t own a whole set of classics that I’ve owned for at least 8 years but haven’t actually added to my tbr shelf, which would make it add up to well over a hundred books…)

In this post I decided to list the 5 books on my tbr that I want to read most and why – these are all books I hope to read by the end of 2018 (which sounds do-able but I’m constantly breaking my book ban, buying more books and forgetting all about those already on my tbr).

Here goes:

1. Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Illustrated Short Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

Technically, this book is my Dad’s, not mine, but he recommended it to me last year and it’s been on my tbr since the 9th June 2016…

I have had a few friends also recommend this to me and I can’t wait to read it. I actually made reading this book one of my goals for 2018 and I plan to read it when on holiday in the summer as it’s quite a large hardback book, which isn’t the most convenient thing to carry around daily!

2. The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephanie Meyer

I used to love the Twilight Saga and although I read all the books, I can’t really remember what happens in them (I’m assuming they’re fairly similar to the films, which I remember way more clearly).

I was talking to my best friend the other day and she mentioned Twilight (we used to binge-watch the films together) and it reminded me that although I’ve skimmed through this book a few times, it’s still on my tbr shelf as I’ve never fully read it. As this Saga used to be one of my favourites (or at least, the films were), I’ve decided to finally read this properly.

3. The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Mark Salisbury

The same best friend who I was talking to about the Twilight Saga bought me this book two Christmases ago and I’ve never seemed to get around to reading it, even though I love behind-the-scenes books such as this.

As with Sherlock Holmes, this book is quite a large hardback, making it quite difficult to read on the bus etc. but I plan to read it on weekends, or after work, and keep a separate book in my bag for travelling around.

I can’t wait to read this book as I’ve read some really good reviews about it, plus it looks amazing (the actual book is even designed to look like a case)!

4. A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is one of my favourite authors and I always have at least one of her books on my tbr shelf, so of course I had to include one in this list!

I love watching adaptions of Agatha Christie books and I’m currently halfway through one of the TV adaptions of this book. As I’m really enjoying it so far, it’s made me want to read the book more!

5. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

This book was on the previous version of this post that I uploaded and I still haven’t read it (oops), although I have since watched the first series of Wolf Hall, which I really enjoyed.

My A-Level History teacher was a massive fan of this book and it was partly his enthusiasm that motivated me to buy the book (he saw it on my desk on the day I bought it and got really excited) and watch the series. Now I don’t have exams to worry about, I feel like I’ll be able to enjoy this book more than if I’d have tried to read it during the middle of my exams and I definitely want to read this book this year!

So there you have an updated version of the books I want to read most on my tbr pile. For anyone who read my previous version of this post and is curious, I FINALLY read the first three Poldark books (that had been on my tbr since 2015) and really enjoyed them, but I haven’t read any more of the series as of yet.

Have you read any of the books on my tbr? What did you think of them (no spoilers please)? Leave me a comment!

Elanor 🙂

physical books vs. e-books: who would win?

Welcome fellow readers!

Today’s debate is one which I constantly have with my family (who have offered to buy me a Kindle for several birthdays and Christmases with no success): are physical books or e-books better?

In all fairness, both have their pros and cons…

I’ll admit, I’m not the world’s biggest e-book fan. I have read several books as e-books although I’ve never spent very much money on them and they have usually been free as I prefer to have a physical copy I can have on my shelves (I struggle to justify spending money on books that I don’t physically own).

However, I don’t have anything against e-books; in some ways it would make more sense for me to start reading more e-books as I’m rapidly running out of shelf space and I could use the extra space I would gain in my bag from not carrying a book everywhere!

On the other hand, I work in an office, where I spend the vast majority of my day staring at a computer screen, so I enjoy getting on the bus, or getting home, and being able to read something that isn’t on a screen!

Physical books have other benefits too though, the main one being the smell, whether it be an old book, or a new book…you don’t get that with an e-book! There’s also the range of different covers and editions that are available when you buy physical books, especially when you buy second-hand books and discover different editions you didn’t know existed!

Overall, I’ve got to say that personally, physical books would win every time! I love curling up in an armchair, on the sofa or in bed with a cup of tea and an actual book, ad being able to just read without needing to worry about battery life etc.

What do you think? Which format of book is your winner and why? Leave a comment with your opinion 🙂

Until my next post!

Elanor 🙂

can you read a book too many times?

Calling all fellow bookworms!

I’m back with an important question: how many times can you re-read a book before it becomes too excessive? Is there such a thing as reading a book too many times?

Personally, I don’t think you can read a book too many times (hey look, I answered my own question already, might as well end this post here)…providing you enjoy the book of course; there’s nothing worse than being forced to read a book you hate (cue a pointed look in the direction of my GCSE English teacher).

I have a few books that I can read over and over again without tiring of them: The Host by Stephanie Meyer, The ENTIRE Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (I can’t just read one of these books, I have to re-read the whole trilogy every time), The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien and the whole Harry Potter series (Cursed Child doesn’t count, okay?) by J. K. Rowling.

HOWEVER

I’ve read The Host so so many times, I feel guilty when I read it again (even though it’s one of my favourite books) as I also have an ever-growing tbr pile and a book wishlist longer than my arm…and here I am reading a book for the millionth time.

But still, no matter how many times I read this book, or any of the others I listed above, I always enjoy them; whether I’m laughing (or crying) at parts of the book I’d forgotten about, or parts that get me every SINGLE time I read them (*cough*Finnick*cough*), or focusing on the development of a character I hadn’t necessarily paid a great deal of attention to previously, I always enjoy it, and that’s the main thing.

So every time I feel guilty about re-reading a book, whether it’s for the fourth or the fortieth time, I’m going to push aside that guilt and just enjoy what I’m reading – life’s too short to get stuck in a reading slump or force your way through a book you’re not enjoying just because you’ve started it when you could be reading one of your favourite books!

What are your opinions on re-reading books? Do you think there is such a thing as re-reading a book too many times?

Happy reading!

Elanor 🙂

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu *spoiler-free*

I’m back, fellow bookworms (at long last)!

So it turns out it’s been a lot longer than I thought since I last wrote a blog post…(my last post was uploaded on 27/08/2017 if we’re being precise), but one of my goals for 2018 was to upload more blog posts so hopefully I’ll be on here more often from now on!

The last review post I uploaded to this blog was for the book One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus and I bought the book The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu as I thought it sounded similar, so I figured this would be a good book to review.

The blurb of the book is as follows:

“Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party. But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car? It’s true. Ask ANYBODY.

Rumour has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the ‘slut stall’ in the girls’ bathroom at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumours start to spiral out of control.”

This book actually came up as an advert on my bookstagram when I was scrolling through my feed, so I ended up clicking on it to find out more. I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to like it but then spotted it on the shelves in my local Tesco and thought, why not?

It’s quite a small book and only took me a few hours to read…partly because I couldn’t put it down!

I won’t include spoilers in this review, but I will say that I had a theory from a couple of chapters in which turned out to be partly correct! Despite this though, there were still some parts that surprised me and I had a few theories that ended up being wrong!

Overall, the book was a bit like One Of Us Is Lying for younger readers, but I still really enjoyed it. I’d say, if you enjoyed One Of Us Is Lying, you’d enjoy reading The Truth About Alice!

Rating: 4 Stars (my reasoning for not giving it 5 stars is partly due to the length of the book – I’d have liked it if it had been longer, but also partly due to the ending, which I feel could have been developed more, particularly if it had been longer).

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this review and will choose to read this book – I’d say it’s worth a read!

Until my next post (which will hopefully be soon)!

Elanor 🙂

My Reading Speed is Slowing??

Hi there, fellow bookworms!

Now what I’m about to say might not seem to make sense when you view how many books I’ve read so far this year…

reading challenge.PNG

…but I feel like my reading pace is slowing.

I’m quite proud of the amount of books that I’ve read so far this year, especially when taking into consideration the facts that I sat (and passed!!) my a-levels and began both full time work and driving lessons. However, I feel like it’s taking me longer to read books.

Some books that I’ve read lately (e.g. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus), I read in just over a day, but then there are books like Winston Graham’s Ross Poldark that took my 5 days to read.

Although 5 days still seems like a relatively short period of time, this was while I was on holiday from work and had more free time to read.

But on the plus side, I finally started reading the Poldark series (I’ve only had the first 3 books on my shelf since 2015)! I’ve read the first book and started the second and I’m really enjoying them!

Maybe I’m imagining things or maybe my reading pace is slowing…who knows.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Elanor 🙂

My Fictional Bucket List

Hi there fellow bookworms!

As I’m now working full time, I’ve decided to make my blog posts weekly (at least) rather than daily. So here goes with this week’s post: my fictional bucket list!

1. Be sorted into my Hogwarts house

As sure as I am that my Pottermore sorting into Hufflepuff is accurate, I’d love to find out what house I’m really in via the Sorting Hat. Not sure I’d like the getting up in front of the entirety of Hogwarts to be sorted though!

2. Visit Narnia

Both in it’s Golden Age, when Caspian is fighting for his throne and later, travelling on the Dawn Treader. I loved the books, films and TV episodes of this series and Narnia is definitely a place I’d love to visit. Plus, imagine how beautiful your photos would be!

3. Solve a mystery with Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple

I’m a huge fan of Agatha Christie’s books, she’s definitely one of my favourite authors, and solving a mystery with two of my favourite detectives would be amazing!

4. Be a Shadowhunter for a week (or month?)

I originally thought “be a Shadowhunter for a day” but I feel like you wouldn’t find out loads about what it’s like to be a Shadowhunter in just one day…knowing my luck, on the day I chose, nothing exciting would happen, so I longer time period would be better!

5. Find out my faction (Divergent)

I’m not sure whether I’d like to take the Aptitude test, but I’d definitely like to find out what faction I’d be. The Divergent website has placed me in Amity, which is probably fairly accurate, but I’d still like to know for sure!

6. Stay with the Weasley family

Or move in. I don’t think there would ever be a dull moment and it would be amazing being a part of such a fab family!

7. Go to Chestnut Hill (riding & boarding school)

I always wanted to learn how to ride a horse when I was younger, but never did. I fell in love with Lauren Brooke’s Chestnut Hill books about a group of friends who attended a riding and boarding school and I’d love to spend a term/year there and learn how to ride a horse!

8. Work/live at Downton Abbey

Although working there would obviously be tiring and a lot more difficult than the TV series makes out, I don’t think it would be as bad if you were friends with all the other servants and they all seem almost like a family at Downton! And obviously, living there as one of the family would be pretty cool!

9. Mentor the tributes

Although I’d hate to actually be one of the tributes in the Hunger Games (obviously), I’d like to be one of their mentors and do as much as I could to keep them alive whilst the Games were on.

10. Visit Middle Earth

I’m not sure whether I’d like to visit during The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, maybe in between both of these. I’d love to travel around Middle Earth and explore places like Rivendell and Hobbiton and Mirkwood (as long as I could avoid the spiders) and meet everyone!

So here are the main 10 things on my fictional bucket list, I may turn this post into a page and add to it as there are many more things that I’d love to do!

Do you have a fictional bucket list? Leave me a comment and share something from your fictional bucket list!

Elanor 🙂